The Original Growler

SHOP GROWLER APPAREL

The 2015 ORIGINAL GROWLER (All categories are sold out. Click HERE for waitlist options for all distances and events)

No refunds after April 30, 2015 at midnight. For a refund prior to midnight on April 30th, send us an email at info@gunnisontrails.com with your full, registered name and let us know that you want one of the following: full refund; partial refund (tell us an amount, the balance is a donation to the trails); or that you want to donate your spot to a high school mountain bike racer. A refund will be processed through bikereg.com and the amount will be credited to the credit card you registered with. 

Registration opens at 8pm MDT on Sunday November 30th, 2014.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER AT BIKEREG.COM

  • Saturday May 23, 2015, The Half-Growler, around 32-miles on the dirt* (limited to 350 riders) closed
  • Sunday May 24, 2015, The Full-Growler, around 64-miles on the dirt* closed
  • Sunday May 24, 2015, Sunday’s Half, around 32-miles on the dirt* closed
  • Sunday May 24, 2015, the first ever, Original Meowler – a Mountain Duathlon – bike, run, bike. Around 40 miles on the dirt* and limited to 50 participants. See below for details about the Meowler. closed

NOTE: Sunday’s races all start together at 7am sharp and the total field limit for the Full-Growler, Sunday’s Half and the Meowler is 350. 

*All races start and finish in downtown Gunnison so add around 5 miles of dead flat pavement to these totals.

 

  • Brought to you by Gunnison Trails and presented by Ergon and SRAM. The Original Growler is owned and operated by Gunnison Trails and is the primary fundraiser for this Colorado 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Gunnison Trails is dedicated to maintaining and expanding the single track experience in the Gunnison area including working toward building the Gunnison to Crested Butte trail. 100% of the proceeds from the Original Growler benefit Gunnison Trails.
  • The Original Growler is for experienced mountain bikers only and takes place in rugged, isolated backcountry terrain. While your safety is our priority and we have a robust EMS plan and experienced and trained personnel, responding to and evacuating an injured rider could be time consuming and difficult.  Riders must possess the skills and judgment necessary to assess difficult and challenging trails and roads and negotiate them in a safe manner. NO BEGINNERS, PLEASE! For comparison, the general character and difficulty of the trails and roads in the Original Growler is similar to those of the BLM Mack Ridge Trail System near Fruita, CO: Mary’s Loop, Lion’s Loop, Horsethief Loop, Steve’s Loop, etc. 

NEW! The Original Meowler – a Mountain Duathlon: One lap of the Growler course with a 7+ mile trail run thrown in the middle. Ride half of the Growler course, drop your bike, pull your running shoes out of your pack (self-support only!), run the epic and mostly singletrack Aberdeen Loop, get back on your bike and finish one lap of the Growler course. The Meowler is limited to 50 competitors and could close short of that once the daily field limit is reached. You are responsible for carrying your own shoes; no outside support allowed. There will be a neutral aid station around the half way point of the run. closed

REFUNDS: No refunds after April 30th, 2015. The Growler is all about raising money for trails so before registering, please be certain that, after April 30th, you are comfortable making your entry fee a donation to the trails of the Gunnison Valley in the event that you:

  • Forgot to train
  • Your aunt Edna decides to get remarried that weekend
  • You eat #$%& on your bike and get hurt
  • Cannot ride in the Growler that weekend for any other reason

**As Gunnison Trails is a 501c3, your entry fee will be 100% tax deductible in the event you cannot make it. Thanks for supporting trails!** Gunnison Trails does allow transfers for a $25 fee. Refund Process: Send us an email at info@gunnisontrails.com with your full, registered name and let us know that you want one of the following: full refund; partial refund (tell us an amount, the balance is a donation to the trails); or that you want to donate your spot to a high school mountain bike racer. A refund will be processed through bikereg.com and the amount will be credited to the credit card you registered with.

2014 Photos & Results are here!

Growler Photos Growler Results

 

HOW DO I REGISTER?

Sorry, all categories are sold out for 2015. Don’t even ask! (But we’d be stoked to see you next year!)

Registration opens December 1, 2015

Each day of racing is capped at 350 riders.

WHERE IS RACER CHECK-IN?

Racer Check-In is Friday May 22nd from 3pm to 9pm at Treads ‘n’ Threads, 113 N Main Street. Friday’s check-in is for all categories, both days. All participants must be present to sign a waiver. Sorry, no race day check-in.

Saturday May 23rd from 1pm to 9pm also at Treads ‘n’ Threads for all who will compete on Sunday. All participants must be present to sign a waiver. Sorry, no race day check-in.

THE GREAT GROWLER FOOD DRIVE! The Original Growler is a BYOB Race: Bring Your Own Bag. We try to eliminate waste and clutter by not providing you with any spiffy disposable or reusable bags that nobody needs. Please bring your own, preferably filled with non-perishable food items for the Original Growler Food Drive. Last year we killed it with this and our local food bank was forever grateful for your generosity. The Gunnison Food Pantry will also be on course providing you with support on the pavement after the Powerline descent.

WHAT IS THE SCHEDULE FOR THE HALF AND FULL GROWLER AND THE MEOWLER?

Click for the 2015 Growler Schedule

Saturday May 23, 2015 The Half-Growler, an epic single-lap race. *THE HALF-GROWLER BEGINS WITH A MASS START AT 9AM* Field limit is 350 starters. Entry fee is $95 and includes a ton of singletrack, well-stocked aid stations, a t-shirt or something else, post-race party in downtown Gunnison including a meal and beverages and finisher’s awards. HINT: Lots of locals prefer the Half-Growler because they know just how hard the Full-Growler is. Our most popular distance, the Half-Growler usually sells out quickly. Don’t procrastinate on this one. closed

Sunday May 24, 2015 The Full-Growler, two laps; Sunday’s Half, one lap; and the Original Meowler. *ALL THREE EVENTS BEGIN TOGETHER WITH A MASS START AT 7AM* Combined total field limit for Sunday is 350 starters. Entry fee is $105 for the Full and Sunday’s Half and $125 for the Original Meowler and includes double a ton of singletrack, well-stocked aid stations, a t-shirt or something else, post-race party including a meal and beverages and a finisher’s award.

Sunday’s Half: A one lap race within the Full-Growler on Sunday May 24th. We will track and post results, including time, for Sunday’s Half, but categories will only be Men and Women Open. Sunday’s Half might be right for you if you want to race the same day as your friend or significant other who is tackling the Full-Growler but you know that you’re more of a Half-Growler kind of rider; or, the Half Growler sold out before you got around to registering and you still want to experience the amazing trail riding of The Original Growler. Sunday’s Half finishers still get Half-Growler finisher’s award, party, meal, etc. There will be no individual or age group achievement awards or rankings for Sunday’s Half, however.

NEW! The Original Meowler – a Mountain Duathlon: One lap of the Growler course with a 7+ mile trail run thrown in the middle. Ride half of the Growler course, drop your bike, pull your running shoes out of your pack (self-support only!), run the epic and mostly singletrack Aberdeen Loop, get back on your bike and finish one lap of the Growler course. The Meowler is limited to 50 competitors and could close short of that once the daily field limit is reached. You are responsible for carrying your own shoes; no outside support allowed. There will be a neutral aid station around the half way point of the run. closed

HOW DIFFICULT ARE THE COURSES? LINKS TO ALL COURSE MAPS.

The Original Growler is for experienced mountain bikers only and takes place in rugged, isolated backcountry terrain. While your safety is our priority and we have a robust EMS plan and experienced and trained personnel, responding to and evacuating an injured rider could be time consuming and difficult. Riders must possess the skills and judgment necessary to assess difficult and challenging trails and roads and negotiate them in a safe manner. NO BEGINNERS, PLEASE! For comparison, the general character and difficulty of the trails and roads in the Original Growler is similar to those of the BLM Mack Ridge Trail System near Fruita, CO: Mary’s Loop, Lion’s Loop, Horsethief Loop, Steve’s Loop, etc.

The trail run for the Original Meowler takes place on the Aberdeen Loop and is mostly singletrack. Expect around 1,000 feet of elevation gain, amazing views and rocky, technical trail running. Maps and elevation profiles HERE.

Each day of racing at the 2015 Original Growler is capped at 350 riders. We could easily start 500 or more but there’s a ton of singletrack out there, much of it either fast or technical. Too many riders on course at once is not conducive to quality racing and riding. Even so, the Growler will bottleneck early in the race. Please be patient, respectful and smart if you find yourself at a standstill. Riding off of the trail to pass is not cool. Also, if a gap opens in front of you and you look back and notice that you are the engine of a long train of riders, please step off of your bike, move over and let these faster riders by. 

Both days of racing will start in downtown Gunnison by shotgun blasts. As per tradition, we will be flip-flopping the direction of travel on the course. Every trail is a completely different experience when ridden the other way! In year 2015 we’re going clockwise.

WHAT WERE LAST YEAR'S RESULTS?

The HALF-GROWLER – Usually, the winning time is plus or minus 3 hours. Take a look at the 2014  Half Growler results to see what went down and by whom. While it’s called a race, this is an exceptional course to ride for fun at any pace. NOTE: The 2014 Half-Growler was timed all the way back to Gunnison so the results reflect those additional paved miles.

The FULL-GROWLER – Bryan Dillon was last years winner in 5:11:38.  Click here for those results. Heard on the street: “But the Full-Growler is only 64 miles. I’ve done a bunch of hundies, how hard can it be?” Give it a try and find out, just bring your A-game. Once again, it’s called a race but plenty of riders take their time (maybe even take some pictures) and smell the sage and enjoy the challenging and ever-changing nature of the trails at Hartman Rocks.

WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE START, FINISH and PARKING?

SATURDAY’S HALF GROWLER STARTS IN DOWNTOWN GUNNISON AT 9AM SHARP.

SUNDAY’S FULL GROWLER, SUNDAY’S HALF AND THE MEOWLER ALL START TOGETHER FROM DOWNTOWN GUNNISON AT 7AM SHARP.

The start is neutral behind law enforcement until you hit the dirt at Hartman Rocks. Neutral means you cannot pass the lead-out law enforcement vehicle. This law enforcement vehicle may drive slow or fast. HINT: the law enforcement vehicle usually goes pretty fast on Gold Basin road toward the dirt. The finish on the pavement is untimed but mandatory (see below for further details). Racing begins for real when you hit the dirt at the entrance to the Hartman Rocks base area. The course is about a 32-mile loop on your BLM public lands that brings riders back to the Hartman Rocks base area, where the timed finish/lap line is located.

The timed finish line is on the dirt at the Hartman Rocks base area. WE ARE NOT RACING BACK TO DOWNTOWN GUNNISON. 

However, riding back to downtown Gunnison on the pavement is mandatory but untimed (continue reading for further details).

For 2015, the timed portion of all races will be completed at the Hartman Rocks base area. However, by rule, you must pedal your bike back to downtown Gunnison and check in at the symbolic finish line there. This section is untimed so you can take you time, even stopping by your campsite or hotel room first to shower, shave or to paint your toenails. Do make it back downtown, however, and check in with race staff. Growler finishers will get their choice of a Growler or a coffee mug (while supplies last); while Meowler mountain duathlon finishers will get a mug. You’ll also get your meal voucher for the post Growler downtown party and awards presentation.

The timed portion of your Growler is complete when you cross the timed finish/lap line on the dirt at the Hartman Rocks base area. Half-Growler (32-miles of dirt) racers finish after one lap; Full-Growler (64-miles of dirt) racers finish after two laps. Sunday’s Half and Meowler mountain duathlon riders only ride one lap, just like the Half-Growler. Once you have crossed your finish line at Hartman Rocks and your time has been etched in stone, you are not finished! By rule, to complete the Original Growler, you must ride back to IOOF Park in downtown Gunnison and cross the symbolic finish line there. This is also where you’ll find real food, real drink, music, results and a pleasing, post-race atmosphere.

You have until about 5-6pm to cross this finish line in the park, so no need to rush. However, keep in mind that Half-Growler awards are around 3pm and Sunday’s awards will be around 5pm (top 3 in each category are called up to the Original Growler podium.) Once you cross the timed finish line at the Hartman Rocks base area, grab some food and drink, chill a bit in the hot sun and then ride back to the park at a careful, leisurely pace. If someone is too blown to ride back, we’ll help as needed. Most will be able to sufficiently recover to ride these final couple of flat miles back to town for some exotic fare and frosty beverages at the ongoing Growler Grub Soiree. If you know the area, ride back to the park any way you like. If you’re not familiar with the Gunnison area, a well-marked route will get you back to IOOF Park. You will encounter traffic, intersections, stop signs and two stoplights on the way back to the park. Please obey all traffic laws.

Remember, this is an untimed section of the race. Also, be careful as you enter the park for the crossing of the symbolic finish line as some sidewalk riding is possible and the area is sure to be busy with people, including non-cyclists and kids. We know untimed sections are unusual, but there are issues and concerns about parking and crowding at the Hartman Rocks base area, so this is the solution. Plus, it’s never a bad thing to stay out of our cars if we can, not to mention, it’s a great warm-up and cool-down.

IF YOU DNF IN ANY RACE, PLEASE ALERT A COURSE VOLUNTEER OR RACE ORGANIZATION MEMBER MAKING SURE THEY GET YOUR BIB NUMBER. THANKS!

The Half, Sunday’s Half and the Full-Growlers, as well as the Meowler, all start and finish in downtown Gunnison at IOOF Park (AKA, race HQ) on the NE corner of Main and Virginia. That makes for about 5 miles of dead flat pavement, 2.5 at the beginning and 2.5 at the end. Total distances are about 40 miles for the Half-Growler, 69 miles for the Full-Growler and around 45 for the Meowler. The start on the pavement is neutral behind law enforcement and may be slow or fast. SEE ABOVE FOR A DESCRIPTION OF HOW THE GROWLER WILL FINISH.

Parking
Please, no parking on Main St. or in the first block off of Main St. These are two-hour parking spots and you will be ticketed and possibly towed. There’s plenty of street parking adjacent to the finish that’s just one block or more off of Main St. A great parking lot is two blocks west of the start across the street from the Post Office.

THE COURSE - SAY KIDS, DO YOU LIKE THE SINGLETRACK TRAILS?

The well-marked, clockwise course of around 30 miles contains loads of classic and challenging Gunnison singletrack – trails like Skull Pass, Top of the World, Rattlesnake, Ridge Trail and Joshos. You won’t be bored! The lap climbs around 4,000 vertical feet (but never more than a few hundred in one shot.) The Half-Growler and lap 1 of Sunday’s races use a slightly different starting configuration to spread the field out. Please study the map for details.

The trail run for the Meowler takes place on the Aberdeen Loop and is mostly singletrack. Expect around 1,000 feet of elevation gain, amazing views and rocky, technical trail running. Maps and elevation profiles HERE.

PLEASE NOTE: Parts of the Original Growler course are closed until May 15th to protect the threatened Gunnison Sage-grouse. If you preride the course prior to May 15th, please honor and respect this seasonal closure for wildlife. Many thanks!

The Original Growler course contains difficult, technically demanding, and of course, potentially dangerous, singletrack trails, double-tracks and roads. Most road and trail hazards are not marked. Riders must possess the judgment and experience necessary to evaluate the roads and trails of the Original Growler and determine the safest manner in which to negotiate them.

BLM Public Lands
All roads and trails used in the Original Growler are also open to the public and participants don’t have special preference out on the trail. Participants need to be prepared to encounter, yield to and be courteous to humans on foot, on horseback, on mountain bikes (not racing), on motorcycles, on ATV’s, in full-size vehicles, hovercraft, etc. Cattle may also be encountered while racing in the Original Growler. This is standard policy for events taking place on BLM public lands.

The Original Growler course is an isolated, backcountry route that includes numerous sections located in steep and rugged terrain where participants may be hours from medical attention and/or evacuation in the event of a serious mishap. Western State Colorado University Mountain Rescue Team provides emergency services for the Original Growler. The long-distance nature of the Growler races emphasizes the importance of adequate preparation, physical fitness and sound decision-making on the part of each participant

WHAT IF IT RAINS?

You will most likely get wet. The Original Growler is an all weather race. It poured rain before and during the race in 2009 and last year it rained most of the night prior to the Full Growler. That first lap had it’s moments but the second was sublime. Hartman Rocks rides well when it’s wet, all things considered. Most of the soils are non-clay, decomposed granite. The race organization and/or the BLM may cancel the race do to weather but this hasn’t happened yet! All riders need to be dressed appropriately and prepared for the conditions on race day.

HOW MANY AID STATIONS WILL BE OUT THERE?

There will be well-stocked aid-stations generally at miles 15 and 17 (Skull Pass), 30 (Hartman Rocks base area), 43 and 45 (Skull Pass). Feed zones will be well stocked. We will have Acli-Mate and Honey Stinger product,  as well as water and other food available. No bottles will be handed out so you’ll need to fill your bottles and bladders.

Two other intermediate locations on the course will have Acli-Mate and water, just enough to keep you going. As in years past, bacon and ice cold Coco-Cola may be available on course.

The Meowler running leg will have one aid station at about the half way point through the 7ish mile lap. Meowler athletes: stock up at the Skull Pass aid station before you hit the transition area as there will be no food/water at the transition area. The transition is less than a mile from the Skull Pass aid station.

Crewing is discouraged on the race course. There is already a ton of action going on out there and the few cars and less traffic, the better. 

WHAT ABOUT TECHNICAL SUPPORT?

There will be basic technical support at the aid-stations including at the Hartman Rocks base area. This will include lube, a few tubes and tires, some tools and floor pump. There most likely will not be a full-service bike shop on course.

WHERE DO I LEAVE MY DROPBAG FOR THE FULL GROWLER?

Full Growler riders only will be able to leave a small cooler or duffel bag at a designated spot near the starting line in downtown Gunnison. We will transport your bag to the lap line (Hartman Rocks base area.) These can be filled with whatever you think you might want to have at the half-way point of the race: food, drink, clothing, tubes, tools, etc.) Once you have gone through it and are back on course, we’ll transport it back to town for you. Important: Full-Growler riders: the lap line at the Hartman Rocks base area is always a confusing place. Check it out beforehand if possible. As you finish your first lap, be as aware as you can and pay attention to signage and/or course marshals trying to direct you to: the drop-bag location; the crew-feeding area; the neutral aid-station; or through the timing line to head out for your second lap

WHAT ARE THE CUTOFF TIMES FOR EACH RACE?

HALF GROWLER: If you have not arrived at the Skull Pass aid station by noon (5mph average or less), you will be asked to begin expediting your ride by not dropping into Skull Pass, and/or cutting off other sections of the course. This will mean a DNF (did not finish) in the results.

FULL GROWLER: NOON is the strictly enforced cutoff time to head out on the second lap for Full Growler riders.

SUNDAY’S HALF: If you have not arrived at the Skull Pass aid station by 10AM (5mph average or less), you will be asked to begin expediting your ride by not dropping into Skull Pass, and/or cutting off other sections of the course. This will mean a DNF (did not finish) in the results.

MEOWLER: If you have not arrived at the Meowler Transition Area by 1015am, you will not be allowed to start the Meolwer run and will receive a DNF (did not finish) in the results. Please enjoy the rest of the Growler course on our bike, though.

 

THE FINISH—AM I DONE YET?

See WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE START, FINISH and PARKING? above.

WHERE IS THE AFTER-PARTY AND AWARDS?

Once you’re done and back in downtown at the starting line, you’ll be smack-dab in the middle of the Growler after party. We have food and beverages (please drink responsibly) for you and eventually, we’ll do awards. We suggest that you put your bike away securely (you might want to bring a lock for peace of mind or get it back to where you are staying or on or in your car), clean up as you like and kick back and enjoy the post-race glow and feeling of dead legs.

  • Half-Growler Party on Saturday begins around 1pm with Awards around 3pm.
  • Full-Growler, Sunday’s Growler and Meowler party on Sunday begins around 1pm with Awards around 5pm.
WHAT IF I DECIDE I DON'T WANT TO RACE?

THERE WILL BE NO REFUNDS AFTER APRIL 30TH. Once you are registered and April 30th has passed, you have contributed your entry fee to Gunnison Trails. Whether you race or not, your money is put to work on the trails and 100% of revenue from the Growler goes Gunnison Trails and Gunnison Trails does nothing but trail advocacy. We allow transfers for a $25 fee until May 20th. Entry holders are responsible for finding another rider to transfer their entry to and settling up on the money. The person gaining the entry will register online and pay the $25 transfer fee only. For transfers: you’ll need to email us at info@gunnisontrails.com and tell us your full, registered name. You’ll also need to tell us the name of who you are transferring the entry to and they must be registered for the $25 Standard Transfer Fee at bikereg.com. Again, you are responsible for collecting the money from the transferee. Sorry, no transfers after Wednesday May 20th, 2015.

CATEGORIES, ETCETERA...

CATEGORIES:

WOMEN HALF AND FULL GROWLER – Under 18; 20-29; 30-39; 40-49; 50+; Pro Open; Singlespeed; Collegiate

MEN HALF AND FULL GROWLER – Under 18; 20-29; 30-34; 35-39; 40-44; 45-49; 50-59; 60+; Pro Open; Singlespeed; Collegiate

SUNDAY’S HALF – Men; Women (However, your results will still be combined with the Half Growler for inclusion into the Colorado Mountain Town Series standings.

ORIGINAL MEOWLER – Women; Men

Gunnison Trails holds some starting positions for sponsors, partners and race organization discretion.

OTHER HAPPENINGS AT HARTMAN’S ROCKS THE WEEKEND BEFORE:

  • The Sage Burner Trail Running Race usually takes place the weekend prior to the Growler. Check out their website for details.